Cancer therapy with nanoparticles
Cancer is one of our society’s most common diseases and the incidence will continue to grow with an ageing population. One corner stone of modern cancer treatment is chemotherapy. In our research we are focusing on finding new nano based ways of delivering drugs for treatment with fewer side effects, or targeted delivery specifically to the tumor site of choice. Another of our objectives are to develop novel nanoparticle systems that combine therapy and diagnostic imaging in the same device. The latter enables us to follow treatment in real time via imaging approaches such as magnetic resonance imaging.
One major obstacle in the successful treatment of cancer with chemotherapeutic agents is the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of the given drug. Traditionally, chemotherapeutics are systemically injected and affects both benign and malignant tissues, this may result in unwanted side effects.
In the clinic, a cocktail of synergistic drugs are often combined in the therapeutic regime. Each with different toxicity and distribution profiles. However, as combination therapy increases the risk of systemic toxicity, it would be relevant to develop a technological platform that could combine clinically used drugs in the same. Factors such as individual concentrations, type of drugs, biodistribution profiles (including tumor uptake), and potential targeting can be systematically engineered and tested. In addition it has been shown that suitable nanocarriers can evade multiple drug resistance activation, opening up a new horizon in which commonly used drugs may elicit far better therapeutic efficacy. Tumor uptake and tailored biodistribution profiles are other benefits that have been realized via the use of designer nanocarriers.